Raiders owner Mark Davis tells Ian Rapoport of NFL Media that Reggie McKenzie “is not an interim GM.”
However, Davis wouldn’t guarantee that McKenzie returns for another season, but he did say that “we are in really good shape, based how Reggie put the contracts together, everything else.”
“We’re not settled with a lot of upside-down situations anymore. The situation he walked into originally was pretty tough,” Davis said. “The deconstruction phase of that went very, very well. I think we’re a pretty desirable place for someone that wants to come in and build.”
McKenzie has come under plenty of criticism for his roster decisions since taking over as general manager a few years ago. He’s found little success in free agency and the trade market, but his 2014 draft class has been praised as being one of the best.
“We have a new face on offense, which Derek could be the face of the future,” Davis said. “We have a face on defense with Khalil Mack. Gabe Jackson might be a player. We have something to start building around. I don’t know that we’ve had the ability to say that over the past few years.”
McKenzie made the decision to shed as much salary as possible to get Oakland in better financial shape. However, this approach amplifies the pressure on a general manager to bring in talent and build a solid foundation.
The Raiders are in the midst of an 0-10 season and could very well finish the year without a single win.
Beyond that, the Raiders are rumored to be targeting a big-name head coach such as Jon Gruden and Jim Harbaugh, assuming the 49ers let him go. Luring one of these two coaches could require them to part ways with McKenzie, so that they can bring in a general manager that fits their approach to building an NFL roster.
This will definitely be a popular topic in the next few weeks as we get closer to the playoffs.